Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Dream

Several weeks ago I had a dream. It was one of those dreams where everything feels so real that when you wake up you lay there for a while unsure of whether or not it really happened. These dreams cause you to second guess yourself, to pay more attention to ominous signs or foreboding circumstances.

At first I dismissed the dream as humorous and strange. Perhaps the tacos I ate the night before were a little too spicy. Or perhaps I'd watched something on TV and without realizing it caused myself to have some strange REM psychosis. Quite possibly it was caused by the dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream sequence in Inception. Whatever it was that caused it, I was only able to dismiss it for a while. But over the past few weeks it has returned to me time and time again. I haven't had the same dream over and over, but the dream has returned to my thoughts in such a way that I get lost in thinking about the implications of it, seeing it as possibly a metaphor of larger things going on around me.

The dream was simple in scope and nature, and it was this: One Sunday I arrived at church to find that the congregation had doubled in size. As exciting as it was, it was also a little nerve racking. But as the sanctuary was abuzz with all this new life and vitality, some people were very upset. They were so upset that after the worship service a special meeting was called. These upset few were demanding my resignation, for I, in some way, was responsible for this circumstance. They didn't say why they were mad at the growth, or even how I had come to be responsible for it. But they wanted me gone. The dream ended unresolved. Though I remember feeling confident that I would not be fired, I do remember feeling tremendously unsettled by circumstance.

Now I know it's important not to read to much into dreams. After all, they are quite often just dreams. But sometimes dreams may actually mean something. And as often as my mind has returned to this scene my attention has finally been grabbed.

So what if I am to learn something from this dream? What is it? If it is some kind of metaphor, what does it represent?

In many ways I think this dream speaks of how many within the church hold a sense of ownership over the congregation. When the congregation changes dramatically their sense of control is violated, leaving them angry, scared, and confused.

In other ways I think it is a very simple representation of the fact that some people, no matter what happens, will never be happy. There are some people within the church (and without) that could see extraordinary success and still find a reason to gripe.

I also think this dream in some ways represents my own misguided sense of personal responsibility for the church. While I have responsibility TO the church, and while I have responsibility AS A PART OF the church, I am not responsible FOR the church. Perhaps I am being reminded not to place myself, and to not allow others to place me, in the role that is befit for Christ alone.

So the reason I post this interior subconscious struggle in this forum is to seek your insight. What do you think about this dream or about these reflections I have made?

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